5 Things The Next US President Should Fix

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#1 Return to Asia-Pacific

America’s “Pivot to Asia” under Obama is a perfect move in the 21st century — where China is getting more prominence in the world. This policy entails the initiative to build the Trans Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement spanning from Peru to Singapore consisting 11 members, as well as America’s opposition to the creation of China-led Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). However, when Trump took over in 2017, the first move that he took was for America to pull out of TPP.

#2 Rethink Indo-Pacific

Donald Trump has been pushing for an Indo-Pacific strategy — an Indo-Pacific region that “updates” the Asia-Pacific region. If the next president is to continue this Indo-Pacific strategy, then the Indo-Pacific region should not be a militarized region.

#3 Rethink International Law

America has the biggest interest in keeping the region stable. The South China Sea is a case in point. The US has been advocating for free passage in the sea. However, America does not accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). How can America be a reliable player in world (maritime) politics if America does not recognize this international law? By abiding to UNCLOS, America will have an upper hand in voicing the concern of America’s partners in Southeast Asia like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar — especially in endorsing the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling.

#4 Rethink International Organization

Only in the course of four years, America under Donald Trump has pulled out of the TPP, the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change), Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) — and most strikingly, a number of United Nations (UN) bodies. Those bodies are UNESCO, UNHRC, and WHO. More interestingly, now four out of 15 UN specialized agencies are headed by Chinese nationals — while only one is headed by an American. This is unfortunate given that the UN was built by the US, supported by the US, and funded by the US. The US also holds an unrivaled seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a permanent member with a veto power — a power that is only bestowed to other four UN members; Russia, China, UK, and France.

#5 Prepare to be Number Two

As of now, Chinese economy, despite being number two only to the US globally, is already comparable to that of the US. China will soon surpass the US in terms of economy — despite the big chance that it will tail US a bit later in military terms. The US needs to acknowledge this reality, and embrace it. America needs to learn how to be number two — or at least how to co-exist with another superpower.

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Angelo Wijaya

Angelo Wijaya

International Relations enthusiast